Competing, Not Just Completing—My Attempt to Get on the Podium

Holding my 2nd place medal from the Love Run 10K, July 5, 2011

Up until now I have always maintained that I just want to “complete not compete” when I race.  Up until recently, that was all I was really capable of.  I was usually somewhere in the middle of the pack when it came to the results of a marathon or a triathlon.  But lately, things have changed.  It started in February when I ran the Lost Dutchman Half Marathon in Apache Junction Arizona.  I had been noticing that my running was get faster.  I went into that race hoping for a 1:52 and after all was said and done (or ran) I finished with a 1:46:26!  But what was most amazing was I was 4th out of over 120 females in my age group.  This race was a turning point for me in which I finally felt like I could compete with those around me.

My next race that showed me that I was still making progress was the Orange County Triathlon.  In this race I placed 4th out of 35 (good enough to qualify for nationals).  I was so close to the podium that I was actually disappointed with my finish until I realized that I had qualified for nationals and realized what a strong run and swim I had had.

See, I got 4th!

So in early June I entered a 10K.  I never run 10Ks.  This may sound snobby but the distance is too short for me.  I am much better at longer races.  But I wanted to place so bad that I was nervous about the race.  Anyway, I gave it all I got.  I did the best I could.  I ran as fast as I could.  I ran so fast at the end that I maxed my HR at 205 bpm!  I got 2nd in my age group, 10th overall female.  You can see the Garmin data from the race here.

Now I have my second 70.3 triathlon, Vineman,  coming up in just under 4 weeks (OMG!!).  I am starting to look at the results from last year to see how I think I might do.  I doubt I will podium there (I have way too much work on the bike to do).  But if I can just keep making progress and make it into the top 20% I would be thrilled.  (You know there will be a race report to follow, so keep a look out.)


There was a point in my life where I never thought I would be able to run a marathon. The concept of running for 26.2 miles just seemed absurd! I was not an athlete and only an athlete could do that.  But then I started running.  Little by little the things I couldn’t do became things I could do.  Running up the hill out of my neighborhood, running continuously for 3 miles, running continuously for 5 miles, running up the hill back into my neighborhood, etc… All of these things got easier.  Eventually I was doing things I never thought I could have done before. Enter my first half marathon.  Not only did I do it, but I never walked, and I finished so much earlier than I expected my friends missed the finish!  I did something I thought I would never do AND I beat my expectation of how well I thought I would do.

Sooo lately (last 20 months) as I have been training a lot. And as a result I have become more aware of what my body can handle/do.  I thought that I would stop exceeding my goals when racing because I am pretty in tune with what I can do; what pace I can run/ride/swim.  But I haven’t! Last marathon I beat my goal by 8 minutes.  Last half marathon I beat my goal by 8 minutes. For my first half Ironman I met my ultimate time goal of under 6 hours (by 19 seconds)!

Last night I did a duathlon with the local Triathlon Club (Rincon Tri Club).  A 2 mile run, 6 mile bike, 2 mile run.  My goal was to do both of the runs in a sub 8 min mile pace.  I did the opening one with  a 7:31 overall pace. Really happy with that!  I went out did the bike and got back to do the second run.  I felt a little sluggish off the bike but just wanted to get my pace under 8. I pushed myself as hard as I could for the last mile; trying to pass as many people as I could (those who passed me on the bike).  To my astonishment I ran the last mile of this sprint duathlon in 7:08!  I have NEVER run a mile that fast…EVER!!!!

It was an awesome night! I can’t wait to see what expectation I exceed  next!